The Fluoride Action Network (FAN) has recently obtained the summary of a new Chinese study linking fluoride exposure to reduced intelligence in children. Incredibly, this is the 36th study to find an association between fluoride and reduced intelligence.
Although FAN has yet to translate the full study, a translation of the abstract reveals that the scientists not only examined the neurological impact of fluoride in water, but also the neurological impact of the total fluoride dose from all sources. According to the summary, the children in the high-fluoride community (0.57 to 4.5 ppm) had an average of 8 less IQ points than children from the lower fluoride community (0.18 to 0.76 ppm). When the authors controlled for other sources of fluoride in the children's diets, they found a significant "dose response" trend, meaning that children with higher total daily intakes of fluoride tended to have lower IQs than children with low fluoride intakes. The total daily doses ranged from 1 mg/day to 4+ mg/day -- a dose range that overlaps the doses that millions of American children now regularly receive.
FAN obtained this study as part of its ongoing translation project which monitors, accesses, and translates critical studies from China and Russia that would otherwise never see the light of day in the U.S. As attorney Michael Connett explains below, FAN's translation project has already had a significant impact on the scientific debate, and we expect this impact will continue to increase in the months ahead.
FAN's Translation Project
By Michael Connett, JD
If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a sound? A similar question could once be asked about Chinese research on fluoride toxicity: For decades, Chinese scientists published studies on how fluoride impacts human health that -- because they were written in Chinese and published in Chinese journals -- were completely unknown and ignored by scientists in the U.S. and other fluoridating countries. In recent years, however, FAN has taken unprecedented steps to change this situation -- and in the process, has helped to change the scientific and public debate on water fluoridation. As someone who has been at the forefront of this effort, let me take a second to explain some of the background.
In 2007, I conducted a comprehensive search of several online Chinese databases to find studies investigating fluoride's effect on the brain. Up until that time, it was believed that only about 5 studies had ever investigated fluoride's impact on IQ. It became apparent to me upon searching through the databases, however, that many other IQ studies had been conducted that had never before been cited in the western literature.
At FAN, we take our job of broadening public awareness about fluoride seriously. Believing that knowledge of these studies would draw much needed attention to fluoride's adverse effects on the brain, FAN accessed, translated, and published ten IQ studies in the 2008 volume of the journal Fluoride. Although these studies had been published in China as far back as 1989, they had almost entirely escaped the attention of western scientists. Thanks to FAN's research, however, they had become available for all to see.
One of FAN's guiding principles is that better information produces better results; that the more the public knows about fluoride, the wiser they will be in handling it in a safe and sensible manner. We were very gratified, therefore, when a team of Harvard scientists -- in a highly publicized review on fluoride and IQ earlier this year -- cited almost all of FAN's IQ translations, and provided 8 links to the FAN webpage. When Harvard scientists
publish a study in a leading environmental health journal (Environmental Health Perspectives) and cite your organization's research no less than 8 times, you know you're doing something right!
The 2012 Translations
In the spring of this year, I decided to do another comprehensive review of the Chinese databases to see if I could find any additional studies on fluoride and IQ, as well as other effects. As with the previous effort, it didn't take long to realize that there was still a vast amount of research on fluoride's toxicity that had still not seen the light of day in the western world. So, once again FAN began accessing and translating these studies. In total, FAN accessed and translated eleven previously unknown studies on IQ, ten of which reported a reduction in IQ from fluoride exposure. All of these studies are now publicly available on the FAN website for all to see.
As it now stands, FAN has translated 48 studies from Chinese and Russian into English. These studies provide extremely important data and insights on how fluoride affects human health. FAN has unearthed studies, for example, showing that fluoride can cause diabetes and osteoarthritis, alter thyroid hormone levels, reduce testosterone levels in males, damage fetal brain, alter behavior in infants, and cause skeletal fluorosis at fluoride levels below 1 ppm (the level added in water fluoridation programs).
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